If you treat anticipation like the blowing up off a balloon. The more air you put in it the bigger the bang you get. So If you have a long anticipating hold, followed by a fast violent/fast action. You will have managed to have work in some great contrast in your work.
I recently asked Keith Lango about anticipation as I was confused by one of his notes on a webpage I found long ago.
“Does the size of the anticipation match the speed of the subsequent action?”
Maybe it’s just me but at first I thought he meant. Does the anticipation equal the following move, are they the same length, which just didn’t sound right to me. So I asked him for further insight. My take on it now is that.
By saying match, He meant, does the anticipation relate to the follow up move. And by RELATE. It has many options. Slow followed by fast. Or slow followed by slow for comedic effect. Also if your going to take a step forward, there is a small (quickish) weight shift in your body in anticipation before you step forward.
Your anticipation depends on what effect you are looking for.
Keith followed up by saying
“The way I see anticipation, it's like blowing up a balloon. The bigger the bang you want, the more you blow it up. So the faster or violent move, the bigger the anticipation. The inverse is also true. The slow, more laid back the move, the less you need to build up and hold the anticipation energy. To step sideways there is a very slight anticipation in the opposite direction with the hips. This is not fast or severe or even held, but it exists. Then the step comes, usually at normal speed and without much fanfare. A more extreme version of this is the old WB off screen zip. Big antic, hold that antic a long time (let that energy really build up) and then explode off screen in 2 frames or less. You couldn't have a soft antic and then explode off screen in 2 frames or less. It'd feel all off. Now you probably could have a huge build up and held antic and then step off in a normal manner at normal speed- but the result would be extremely comedic. The comedy comes from setting up the expectation of a fast zoom, but then doing the unexpected with a normal step. That's probably the only instance of mixing and matching the antic/motion energies that works”
These notes are a great insight into anticipation. I just want to thank Mr Lango for clearing that up for me.